USMC Task Force “Violent”: A Tale of Betrayal and Redemption


MARSOC’s (U.S. Marine Special Operations Command) first foray into Afghanistan in 2006 resulted in their removal from the entire combat theatre after their first major combat operation. Essentially they were kicked OUT of a war for being umm… how do we say “too violent”?

After years of recriminations and investigations, and a concerted attempt to portray them as “war criminals” by a Taliban sympathetic media, their name has finally been cleared.

On March 4, 2007, less than a month after arriving in country, 30 men with Fox Company’s direct-action platoon were riding in a six-vehicle convoy that was ambushed while patrolling in the Bati Kot district of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, a nefarious transfer point for suicide bombers and other extremists entering the country from Pakistan. Media reports about the incident seemed to surface before the smoke had cleared and the shell casings were collected. And it seemed to leave little doubt that the Marines went on a wild rampage, inflicting mass civilian casualties.

Within days, Fox Company was ordered out of the war zone under a cloud of shame.

Media coverage from the court of inquiry was restricted by the military, with much of the testimony taking place behind closed doors to guard against the disclosure of classified information, officials explained at the time. As a consequence, an incomplete narrative would emerge. Marine Corps Times, for example, published a cover story in February 2008 boasting of hidden details about the “meltdown” within Task Force Violent and the “cowboys” who shamed the Corps — a characterization that has proven unfair and untrue.

Part 1 of a 5-part series


  • OMG! You mean they actually fought the war? How un-John Kerry like!

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      No kidding!
      Yeah, not only did they fight the war, they fought it so well with such a high kinetic tempo, that the Afghan Taliban went extinct within 6-months of their tactics being adopted by other Marine combat units.
      In certain Afghan provinces, where various SAS units had gotten nowhere in 7-years, when they were replace with Marine units that had a much different (read: aggressive) posture with the enemy, the Taliban crumbled.
      I mean they went from being the dominant force in some of these districts to drying up and blowing away in only a few months of getting hit hard every time the raised their heads up.
      Hearts and minds of civilians will only follow after you have killed off all the enemy manipulating and threatening the civilians.

      • You can’t win a war without killing the enemy.

        • eMan14

          We can if we give them parka’s.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            And don’t forget toilet paper and toothpaste.